I sailed into panama in November 2013, I have cruised and explored the areas on the Caribbean and Pacific sides and surfed and dived my way along both coasts and have transited the legendary Panama Canal. Now it is time to leave, to finally move on and out into the Pacific Ocean. This is not really the start, but a huge step in the whole journey. I have dreamt of this day for longer than I can remember, this is what I have all ways wanted to do, and finally the day is here. Tomorrow we will pull anchor to get the rising tide out of Boca Chica, on the western side of Panama and first head south for around one hundred and eighty miles till we are on the rhumb line between Punta Mala and the islands of the Galapagos. From there, once we find the wind and the current, will we will alter course and point the bow towards the island of San Cristobal and continue the rest of the journey, another six hundred odd miles. I have learnt from this trip that things happen as they should, or as they will, and when we were delayed waiting for a part here for a week it did not seem to bother me that much and sure enough, after a week of no wind and of ships sitting drifting in the ocean (I can hear them on the HF radio) the wind is picking up along the coast and the trade winds are moving north again, the part has arrived, and we are ready to set sail.
I am excited, it may sound strange as I am in the middle of such an amazing trip, but it is not always like this. You get caught up in the daily routine and the everyday processes of keeping Kuhela afloat and looking great, it becomes normal to pull anchor and move to another place, to plot your way along the charts and to sail from here to there, to watch amazing coastline and islands drift by. This is different though; this is heading out to the ocean, where boats belong, where I have dreamed of, where my imagination has traveled many more miles than I have. Yesterday I lay on my bunk reading Kon Tiki, feeling the boat rock gently below me, and I felt closer to that story than ever before. Here I was about to set out on the same path as these explorers, and the thousands of sailors before me. I am not setting out to somewhere never explored, neither am I sailing into uncharted territory, but this is a trip into the places I've explored only through books or documentaries and also happens to pass through some of the remotest parts of the world. I am ready to go, and look forward to seeing nothing but the unbroken line of the horizon in every direction.
We are expecting about seven to ten days for the crossing, that all depends on if we can find some wind though. Its forecast to pick up a little way off to the south of us and we will probably be motoring for the first day or so till we can hopefully get down that way. we all know how different forecast can be from the reality of things. Wont have any internet out there, so will be out of touch for a bit, but stay tuned and I will post up something when we get to the Galapagos. Bring on the open ocean.